The Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao has said the recent decision by Nandala Mafabi to suspend opposition parties that participated in the EALA elections was unwise and exposed his low level of leadership capacity.
Mafabi is the leader of opposition in Parliament, a position he took on after his predecessor, Prof. Ogenga Latigo.
"We do not question his powers to dismiss DP and Uganda People's Congress [UPC] from the shadow cabinet but we question his wisdom. Power does not confer wisdom to the holder. You might have power when you have no wisdom, or you might have wisdom without power and you might also be powerful when you're foolish," Mao said.
He was addressing journalists at the party's weekly press briefing at the party head offices in Kampala Tuesday.
A visibly furious Mao slammed Mafabi for allegedly referring to him [Mao] as "a mole" and asked him to always be careful with his statements. Mao said it is now a trend that anyone who disagrees with Mafabi is a mole.
"How can Mafabi call me a mole? He needs to go slow and accept realities in politics. I have more to teach him than he has. He even involved my wife, alleging that she works in State House. He should be ashamed," Mao fumed.
"He is not even my level. I am a party leader and he is just a leader in Parliament. I speak to people like President Museveni and Colonel Kizza Besigye not Mafabi. He [Mafabi] is in fact the one paid by Government whereas I do my businesses," the DP leader roared on.
He said despite his position in Parliament, Mafabi remains answerable to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader, Kizza Besigye.
Mao called on Mafabi to know that he is just an opposition leader in Parliament and not Uganda, adding that each party has its own leader.
DP, he added, agreed to work with other opposition parties in Parliament but that does not mean they forget their duties, interests and principles as independent parties. He said Mafabi's act showed incompetence in his leadership skills.
"We accept to be fired from his [shadow] cabinet, but he has no right to fire any MP from oversight committees because it is Parliament responsible for them," he stressed.
Speaker's say on the matter
Mao said he has already written to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga seeking her position on the matter.
The party has ordered all its MPs to retain their positions on various committees until Kadaga clarifies on the matter.
They have also resolved to elect spokespersons to represent the party in different portfolios in Parliament since they are no longer in Mafabi's cabinet.
Mao stressed that they also reject Mafabi's move of approaching some of their members individually to include in his cabinet, saying only the party's National Executive Committee can recommend that.
He noted that those calling them moles are people who are annoyed because they "refused to move under their armpits", stressing that Mafabi's acts will only divide the opposition further.
Mao vowed not to hold any negotiations with FDC on fronting one opposition candidate in the Bukoto South by-election.
"Talks for what? We have already nominated our candidate. Their candidate and that of NRM are no threat to ours," he noted.
FDC endorsed Julius Sentamu as its flag-bearer to contest with DP's Matthias Nsubuga and NRM's Alintuma Nsambu in the re-election.